Four-star general visits JBB, talks drawdown, reflects on women's history
Story and photos by Sgt. John Stimac
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command and a Fort Belvoir, Va., resident, made a March 20 visit to Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to discuss the upcoming responsible drawdown of personnel and equipment in Iraq.
Dunwoody was briefed on base closures and the drawdown of personnel, both military and contractors, during a logistics-capacity briefing at the Mirage dining facility.
She addressed the crowd, saying how proud she was of everyone at JBB and the progress being made here in Iraq.
"You are all making such a huge contribution over here," she said. "They know that you are going to make it happen, we have the best of the best in logistics right here."
Dunwoody said she tries to make a trip to Iraq every six months to observe the changes being made.
"With the drawdown and all the work that's going on," she said, "we need to ensure that the transition from responsible drawdown to a responsible reset is happening."
With all the logisticians here at JBB, Dunwoody simply wanted to say thank you.
"I want to tell all these (service members) and civilians that I appreciate what they do every day, and what they are doing is making a difference," she said. "Some of them have been here up to four times in the past eight years and they are still here, committed and making a difference."
After a command brief with Brig. Gen. Paul L. Wentz, the 13th SC(E) commanding general, Dunwoody presented coins to 10 Soldiers at the Joint Operations Center, for each Soldier's commitment to excellence and the mission of the 13th SC(E).
Staff Sgt. Solmarie Ramirez, the noncommissioned officer in charge of asset visibility for the 13th SC(E) and a San Juan, Puerto Rico, native, said she received a coin for her role in researching purchasing requests and account maintenance.
"We handle all the purchase requests for all the brigades and brigade combat teams that fall under the 13th SC(E)," she said. "We also track equipment in theater for the supporting brigades.
Ramirez said she was proud to find out she would be coined by Dunwoody.
"It was an honor," she said, "and knowing that she is the first four-star female general, that made it even more of a surprise."
Ramirez said this should be a message for female Soldiers to keep working hard and represent excellence for all females.
The month of March commemorates Women's History Month and Dunwoody is the first four-star female general in the history of the Army.
Dunwoody said she wanted to commend all the female Soldiers and civilians that are working hard every day.
"This is a great month to reflect on our history, those pioneers that opened the door for us, for me," she said. "These women will open the doors for the future generations."
Dunwoody said this is a wonderful month for women in the military to pause and reflect on how fortunate they are.
"I continue to tell them all that they can be anything they want to be if they have the passion, work hard and give it their all," she said.
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, the commanding general of the Army Materiel Command and a Fort Belvoir, Va., resident, pauses for a picture with female Soldiers and civilians as part of Women's History Month, March 20 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Dunwoody came to JBB to discuss the progress of the upcoming responsible drawdown of personnel and equipment in Iraq.
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, commanding general of the Army Materiel Command and a Fort Belvoir, Va., resident, speaks with Staff Sgt. Solmarie Ramirez, the noncommissioned officer in charge of asset visibility for the 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) and a San Juan, Puerto Rico, native, after presenting her with the general's coin for excellence and commitment to her mission. The ceremony was held at the Joint Operations Center, March 20 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.